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Eek was miserable with work. However, it was a quiet miserable. An un-bothersome miserable. Eek was the type of fellow to never make much of a fuss, yet this morning, Eek was miserable with his job. Un-mistakenably miserable. Now, it wasn’t as if Eek didn’t have a solid job especially in a time when so many of his family didn’t have any means to pay off their own blots. Yet, today was a miserable day for Eek.
As routinely as every other day, Eek made his way to his designated work-station. Before stepping into his assigned area Eek stopped, looked down, and simply stood gazing at the concrete floor. This is the spot – all those years of standing in this one spot. There was nothing unusual about Eek’s spot when compared to any other spot on the factory floor. Oh, but Eek knew his spot. Twenty-five years Eek has stood in this same spot and never once complained – until today.
Eek’s cold stare was instantly broken by the familiar voice of Brother Dread. “I’m glad you haven’t started yet. The electricity got knocked off at my house. Alarm must have reset.” Eek moved his stare from the concrete floor up to Dread’s eyes, never changing his expression.
“You used that excuse last week.” Eek responded.
“Oh, your right. I did. Well, don’t tell Rabbi. Okay?” Dread stared back at Eek, as they simultaneously stepped into their stations and instantly noticed Eek’s mannerism. Without a response to Dread’s question Eek bent down and pushed the familiar green button to start the large conveyor belt.
“You okay, Eek?” Dread asked.
“Dread, do you ever feel like our work here is meaningless?” Eek asked.
“Meaningless? Eek, this is the best factory in this city! Just look around.” Dread was moving his right arm in a sweeping motion as if revealing to Eek for the first time the grandness of this factory. Eek had to admit that Dread was right. This was a great way to pay off their blots, yet today was a miserable day.
“Dread, do you ever get tired of making Good Deeds for Rabbi?” Eek asked.
Dread was shocked. “What? No way! How else am I gonna pay off all my blots? Besides, this is a great job. We get to make Good Deeds all day long and work for the nicest man in town. You know how Rabbi loves to give out our Good Deeds. Sure it gets a little boring sometimes but Rabbi says in the end our blots will be gone!”
“Do you remember Mr. Wisdom?” Eek asked.
Dread thought for a moment before asking, “The guy that got fired last week?”
“Yes. But did you know that he actually quit?” Eek whispered the ending of his question so that Mrs. Boastful, who was assembling a good distance down the line, would not hear though Eek doubted she could hear over her own talk of how many Good Deeds she assembled last week. Dread didn’t respond, so Eek continued with his story.
“Well, before Mr. Wisdom left we would often talk during our breaks about a good many things. But one day Mr. Wisdom started asking me some strange questions.”
“Like what?” Dread responded. Dread loved the secretiveness that Eek was displaying.
“He asked me questions about all the Good Deeds that I’ve made over the years and if I have any written agreement that these Good Deeds really do pay off my blots? He also told me about a person named Verdict that came to his home one night and told him we could never pay off our blots without a written contract.” Eek stopped speaking though he had more to say.
Dread sensed Eek’s hesitation, “I’m listening.”
“Well, I asked Rabbi for proof that I had paid off the rest of my parents’ blot.”
“What did he say?” By now Dread had stopped assembling.
“He said it would take him time to find the papers. I could tell he was lying.”
“Rabbi? Lie to us?” Dread refuted.
“Mr. Wisdom said that there is a man named Help that offers a written contract, and better yet, this man Help pays off your blots for you up front, so you don’t have to make a single Good Deed before he pays them off.”
With this Dread laughed rather uncontrollably causing Mrs. Boastful to quizzically stare at the two men.
As Eek glanced around his eyes were meet with a hard stare from Rabbi…to be continued next week…..
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